What is the best way to answer a question on an employment application if I was arrested for a felony but it reduced to a misdemeanor?

“Explain each conviction and guilty or nolo contendere plea fully”. I have every intention of being honest but I am not sure as to how much detail or how I should word my answer/statement, as this is the first time I am being asked this questions on an employment application. Circumstances: I was arrested 4 years ago for grand theft. I was out on bail within a few hours and the charges lowered to misdomeaner petty theft. I pled no contest and was given 3 years un-supervised probation, which I completed without issue 8 months ago.

Asked on July 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The question asks for you to "Explain each conviction and guilty or nolo contendere plea fully"--it does not ask about arrests. Therefore, you can truthfully explain that you pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of petty theft (you'll have to provide some context about what you did) and were given only 3 years of unsupervised probation, which you successfully completed. The arrest for grand theft is irrelevant to this question as you have reported it.

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